WordPress’s popularity as a website builder cannot be understated. In its 16 years as a publicly available content management system (CMS), it has grown to command close to 59% of the CMS marketplace and is responsible for about 75 million websites worldwide.
Given that the entire Internet is estimated to have somewhere north of 172 million websites, WordPress powers 1/3 of the top 10 million sites. Available in 65 languages and translated into about 90 more, its sites receive 175 million page views per month.
If you’re using WordPress to create your own website, you’re clearly in good company. However, there’s more to a website than its CMS. Finding the best hosting provider is a key component of having a site that is fast, reliable, and flexible.
WordPress offers its own hosting platform, but it isn’t the best for every situation. However, about 50% of WordPress’s 75 million websites use WordPress as their web host, so they must be doing something right.
Factors to Consider When Searching for a Hosting Provider
The three most significant non-financial factors for picking a web hosting provider are speed, uptime, and customer support. Speed refers to how fast your site will load on the average Internet connection. Uptime is the percentage of time for an entire year that your website will function correctly and be available. While no site can guarantee 100% uptime, you definitely want one that comes close. Customer support is vital because WordPress does not have its own. WordPress support runs through a massive discussion community of users and can be equal parts amazing and frustrating when you have a serious issue that needs fixing.
Best WordPress Hosting Services
Bluehost: Bluehost definitely catches your eyes with its 99.99+ uptime percentage. That equates to one hour of downtime spread over 365 days. Bluehost checks all the boxes you would want in a WordPress hosting service. Its load time is quick (406 ms), it has customer service available around the clock, and you get a free domain name for a year, free SSL certificate, and a free site transfer (if needed) when you sign up. Its only major downfall is that you can’t pay month to month. That is currently mitigated by the fact that Bluehost is offering its services for as low as $2.75/month (a one-time yearly fee of $33). When that discount ends, the price jumps back up to $96. Bluehost comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Greengeeks: You might have visited Greengeeks.com to check out what an eco-friendly web hosting site looks like. Its environmental efforts are praiseworthy, but its web hosting performance is just as impressive. Its Ecosite Lite package for beginner WordPress users is currently marked down to just $23.40/year. It comes with unlimited bandwidth and email accounts, a free domain, free website transfer, nightly backups, up to 100 emails an hour, and a pair of SSL certificates.
HostGator Cloud: The old swamp creature has been around for 16 years and plays host to more than 10 million domains, second only to GoDaddy on the entire planet. HostGator’s uptime (99.97%) and load time (421 ms) are just a tick behind Bluehost’s, but its support system is just as proficient. The starter plan for HostGator is currently discounted to $2.99/month, but that’s at a rate of 80% off. Like others in this category, HostGator Cloud offers a free site migration and a free SSL certificate to sweeten the deal. Its security is another big plus. Every night, your site is backed up to an offsite location to ensure that data is always available if the cloud is compromised.